Chapter 8: The Need for a Best-in-Class Solution
Improving social customer service is the most pressing short-term priority for contact centers in the US and UK according to a study conducted by Forrester Consulting. More than half of the companies surveyed believe that it will continue to grow in importance. Companies are, in principle at least, recognizing that not only must they offer social as a customer service option but that it must be a premium-level service — a service that can deliver satisfaction, inspire loyalty and encourage advocacy. Clearly a best-in-class solution is called for.
However, such solutions appear to be the exception rather than the rule. Only 33% of the social customer service solutions being used by those surveyed were actually selected by the Customer Service team. The majority of solutions were obtained, instead, by Marketing. This often results in a disconnect between Customer Service and Marketing, with the former stuck using Social Media Management Suites (SMMS) for Customer Service.
These suites are often great for Marketing but insufficient for the complex needs of a Customer Service department. This leads to organizations having to make unplanned investments to fix the social customer service problem.
The issue becomes easier to understand when approached in terms of departmental priorities:
Ultimately, best-in-class solutions allow customer service teams to do what they do best—serve the customer. These teams are not focused on reaching as many people as possible, building brand awareness or adding subscribers like their Marketing colleagues, and as such, require a different tool.
Best-in-class social customer service solutions provide the tools to deliver what contact center teams actually want:
- A timely and awe-inspiring social customer experience
- An increase in operational efficiency and cost-savings
- A well-managed and limited-risk organization
- A platform that fits seamlessly and effortlessly into existing contact center systems
It is essential for social media to be fully integrated into the contact center. Integration allows agents to be managed and resourced properly, with the same efficiency metrics as other channels; and with integration of data across different channels allowing a customer to move seamlessly among social, email and phone, when necessary.